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Covid - 19 RT PCR Test

Also known as  Coronavirus Qualitative PCR (COVID-19) | Covid RTPCR
COVID-19 is the illness that is caused by infection with the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. The PCR test is a type of molecular test that is used to identify an active infection with SARS-CoV-2.
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What is a Covid - 19? 

COVID-19 is the illness that is caused by infection with the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.


What is the RT PCR test? 

The RT PCR test is a type of molecular test that is used to identify an active infection with SARS-CoV-2.

PCR test uses a technique called reverse transcription polymerase chainreaction (RT-PCR) to detect the viruses from the genetic material. Testsamples are usually saliva or a swab taken from your nose or throat.

Different options exist forat-home PCR testing. The home collection kits involve taking a sample at home and sending itto a laboratory for analysis. And the self-tests include a device foranalysing your sample rapidly at home without the need to mail it to alab.


What are the other names for a Covid - RT PCR test? 

SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) Qualitative PCR test,COVID-19 RT-PCR Test. 


What are the test parameters included in a Covid - RT PCRtest? 

SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) Qualitative PCR Test


What does a Covid - RT PCR test measure?

  • An at-home PCR test analyses whether your sample includes componentsof the genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The PCR testingtechnique is part of the group of molecular tests known as nucleicacid amplification tests (NAATs). This test makes many copies of thegenetic material that is found in your test sample and then analysesthose copies for traces of the virus. As a result of this copyingprocess, even a very small number of the viruses in the geneticmaterial can be detected.

  • A positive test result means the presence of an active COVID-19infection. Most people have a mild illness and can get better safelyat home without the need for hospitalisation. Connect with your doctorif any symptoms worsen or if you have any questions or concerns.

  • A negative test result means the absence of an active infection atthe time of sample collection. However, it does not mean that you aresafe for any length of time. You can get infected with COVID-19 andspread the virus to others at any time after testing. 

  • If you test positive, stay at home, separate yourself from allothers, and keep in touch with your doctor. If you have testednegative, continue to take measures to protect yourself and othersfrom getting COVID-19. 


What’s the normal range of the RT PCR test? 




Who should get a Covid - RT PCR test?

Your healthcare provider may recommend the testing for COVID-19 if youhave any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills.

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches.

  • Headache

  • Loss of taste or smell.

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose.

  • Nausea or vomiting.

  • Diarrhoea.

Not everyone with COVID-19 develops symptoms. Not all symptomatic peoplewill develop all of the symptoms listed above. Please check with yourhealthcare provider if you are feeling unwell during the COVID-19 pandemic— even if you’ve been vaccinated.

Preparations needed for The Covid - RT PCR test 

Fasting is not required for this test. A government ID card (Aadhar card preferred) is mandatory for sample collection. No special preparation required.

What is the cost of a Covid - RT PCR Test?

What is the type of sample required?

This test requires a throat swab and nasal swab sample.


Who performs a Covid - RT PCR Test?

There are three main key steps to the COVID-19 PCR test:

  • Sample collection: Ahealthcare provider uses a swab to collect the respiratory materialfound in your nose. The swab is the soft tip with a long, flexiblestick that goes into your nose. There are different types of noseswabs, including the nasal swabs that collect a sample immediatelyinside your nostrils and the nasopharyngeal swabs that go furtherinto the nasal cavity for collection. Either the type of the swab issufficient for collecting the material for theCOVID-19 PCR test. After the collection, the swab is sealed in a tube and then sentto a laboratory.

  • Extraction:  When thelaboratory scientist receives the sample, they isolate the (extract)genetic material from the rest of the material in the sample.

  • PCR: The PCR step then usesa special type of chemical and enzyme and a PCR machine called athermal cycler. Each heating and cooling cycle increases (amplifies)the number of the targeted genetic material in the test tube. Afterso many cycles, millions of copies of a small portion of theSARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic material are present in the test tube.The chemicals in the tube that produce a fluorescent light ifSARS-CoV-2 is present in the sample mean that once it is amplifiedenough, the PCR machine can detect this signal. Scientists usespecial software to interpret the signal as a positive testresult.


What should I expect during my Covid - RT PCR Test ?

For aCOVID-19 diagnostic test, a health care professional takes a sample of mucus from the nose orthroat or a sample of saliva. This specimen needed for diagnostictesting may be collected at your doctor's office, a healthcare facility,or a drive-up testing centre.

  • Nose or throat swab.  A long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab)has been recommended, though a shorter or very short nasal swab orthroat swab is acceptable. The healthcare professional inserts athin and flexible stick with a cotton ball at the tip into your noseor brushes the swab along the back of your throat to collect asample of mucus. This may be somewhat uncomfortable.

  • For the nasal sample, swabbing may occur in both nostrils tocollect enough mucus for this test. The swab remains in placebriefly before being gently rotated and being pulled out. The samplegets sealed into a tube and sent to the lab for analysis.

  • If you have a productive cough, your health care provider may alsocollect a sputum sample, which contains secretions from the lungs, apart of the lower respiratory system. The virus is more concentratedin the nose and the throat early in the course of the infection. Butafter more than five to six days of the symptoms, the viruses tendto be more concentrated in the lower respiratory system.


What should I expect after my Covid - RT PCR Test?

After the healthcare provider has collected your throat and nasal swabsamples, they will send them to a laboratory for testing. Once the testresults are ready, your healthcare provider will share them withyou.

When can I expect my Covid - RT PCR Test results?

These reports are available via email or WhatsApp within 2 days of the collection of the blood sample.

What do the results of a Covid - RT PCR Test mean?

  • Positive result: This means you currently have an active infection with the viruses that causeCOVID-19. Take the appropriate steps to take care of yourself. Avoid spreading the virus to others.

  • Negative result: This means that you don't have an infection with the COVID-19 virus. But the false-negative test result could happen due to the timing and/or quality of the test sample. If you have any symptoms, stay away from others round you. Your doctor may recommend for repeat testing if you continue to have symptoms.

  • Even if you test negative now, you could become infected in the future. So it is very important to follow the guidelines such as face mask usein indoor public spaces and regular hand-washing to avoid potential spread.

What are normal Covid - RT PCR Test results?

  • A negative test result means you probably don't have the infectionfor SARS-CoV-2 at the time your specimen was collected. However, itis possible to have a COVID-19 test but not have the virus detectedby the test. For example, this may happen if you have recentlybecome infected but you don’t have symptoms yet  — or it couldhappen if you've had  COVID-19 for more than a week beforebeing tested.  A negative test doesn’t mean that you are safefor any length of time; you can get exposed to COVID-19 after yourtest, get infected and spread the SARS-Cov-2 virus to others.


What other tests might I have along with this test?

You can perform Anti SARS CoV2 IgG.

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